Smoked Christmas Crown Roast of Australian Lamb

“It’s Christmas Eve. The one night each year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year we are the people that we always hoped we would be.” -Frank Cross

As winter snow falls over the resplendent great white north of Michigan’s cherry and wine country, our family eagerly retreats from the hustle and bustle of the hectic holiday season, gathering to enjoy company amongst one another, to celebrate, reminisce, and give thanks for the countless blessings we’ve been offered over the year past. Our time together annually during Christmas Eve, alongside the fireplace, are among my most favorite memories – evenings filled with laughter, great music, hand-crafted beverages and mouthwatering homemade fare.

On the eve of this season’s merriest holiday, crown roast of lamb will serve again as the rustic centerpiece for our family’s farm to table feast. While entirely elementary in preparation, these frenched, twisted and tied racks of lamb are glorious in presentation. But, to ensure consistent execution of this recipe for the most cherished of holiday gatherings, follow the 5 key steps and instructions below.

1. Call your local butcher at least a week ahead of time. I’ll request Australian grass-fed lamb for it’s texture, mild taste and beautiful flavor, but also because I believe wholeheartedly in the renowned farming practices of Aussie ranchers – for Centuries producing among the most incredible, sustainable lamb product on God’s green earth. Also, butcher should trim and tie your racks (between 2-4 independent racks) into a single crown formation!

2. Allow your lamb to arrive to room temperature prior to the cook. Placing cold meat upon the grill or in the oven/smoker, increases astronomically the chances that you will serve dried-out, over-done, tasteless lamb. To ensure food saftey, tightly wrap the crown roast in several layers of plastic cling and rest upon a sanitized surface for 2-3 hours before applying heat.

3. Play Frank Sinatra

4. Don’t be intimidated – You’re only a few simple steps from being the holiday host(ess) with the most(ess). Turn on your favorite Christmas tunes. Season the lamb simply and place upon an indirectly heated, smoldering inferno of hardwoods and a few handfuls of chestnut shells. Slowly elevate the lamb crown to an internal temperature of 120F before turning all burners to maximum heat and searing the roast exterior. Remove the finished lamb crown roast when internal temperature reads between 130-135F and rest for 15-20 minutes prior to carving. 

5. To serve, this mouthwatering halo of lamb is laid atop a bed of roasted butternut squash and faro salad, tossed with a vibrant winter kale, sweet apples, crumbled feta, cranberries and toasted pecans, then lightly dressed with a gorgeous maple-cider vinaigrette. For best results, prepare the salad while the lamb is slowly smoking to temperature.


Smoked Christmas Crown Roast of Australian Lamb
Prep Time
3 hrs
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
5 hrs
 
Servings: 1 Crown Roast of Lamb
Author: A Bachelor & His Grill
Ingredients
  • 1 crown roast of Australian grass-fed lamb frenched, trimmed and tied
  • 1 cup olive oil plus additional to baste
  • 2 tablespoons each of dried basil rosemary, sage and thyme, all coarsely ground
  • 6-8 cloves garlic minced
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn to taste
  • 2 cups oak wood chips and 1 cup of chestnuts shells soaked in water for 1 hour prior to use
  • Roasted Butternut Squash and Faro Salad recipe below
Instructions
  1. From your butcher purchase a, "bone-in, frenched, and tied crown roast of lamb."
  2. At least 2 hours prior to smoking, remove crown roast from refrigeration. Whisk together olive oil, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper, then rub into the lamb. Wrap the exposed frenched bones in tin foil. Wrap the entire roast in cling plastic and set on a sanitized counter to rest, elevating the lamb to near room temperature.
  3. Preheat grill to 275F, at least 30 minutes prior to the cook. When the billowing smoke thins and turns a faint blueish in hue, you are ready to begin smoking!
  4. Place seasoned lamb crown in smoker and baste intermittently with oil, until the pork is within 15F of desired serving temperature (see notes section below). Turn up grill to maximum heat, searing the exterior of the lamb, removing the roast from the grill when within 5 degrees of desired serving temperature. Rest under a tinfoil tent for 15-20 minutes prior to carving.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the Roasted Butternut Squash and Faro Stuffing (recipe below), set aside.
  6. For presentation, spread the Faro and Butternut Squash Salad over the base of the plate. Rest the smoked lamb crown roast over the stuffing. Fill the middle of the roast with additional salad. To serve and plate, remove kitchen twine and slice the racks between the bone. Lay the chops over a spoonful of the salad and drizzle with additional maple-cider vinaigrette. Season, to taste. Devour.
Recipe Notes

Smoke and Serving Guide: Smoke at 275F until the lamb is within 15F of desired serving temperature. Turn up all burners and sear exterior of the lamb until within 5 degrees of desired serving temperature. Remove from heat and rest for 15-20 minutes prior to carving.

Medium-Rare: Smoke until 120F | Sear until 130F | Serve at 135F
Medium: Smoke until 125F | Sear until 135F | Serve between 140F


Roasted Butternut Squash and Faro Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 
Author: A Bachelor & His Grill
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash peeled and petite diced
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn to taste
  • 1 cup uncooked faro prepared in 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries plus fresh cranberries to garnish
  • 1 crisp red apple petite diced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/2 cup salted dry roasted pecans roughly chopped
  • 2 green onions finely chopped
  • 2 cups green Japanese kale leaves removed from stems, finely chopped and packed
  • 2 cup purple Japanese kale leave removed from stems, finely chopped, and packed
  • Maple-Cider Vinaigrette:
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil. Season squash in subsequent four ingredients, then roast in oven for 20-25 minutes, until exterior is just golden brown and interior is fork tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare faro per package instructions, to al dente. Drain liquid and set aside to cool.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, emulsify all vinaigrette ingredients with an immersion blender. Set aside.
  4. Toss together all salad ingredients and fold in vinaigrette until well combined. Serve.

May your home be filled with the joy of this holiday season. From my family to yours, here’s wishing you a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year! 

-David and Jennifer

Written by Live Fire Republic
Single (hence "the Bachelor" moniker). Living in a big city. Love creating amazing food, tossing back a fantastic chilled beverage (or 2), laughing loudly, & Globe-trotting in search of epic adventure, unique culture, & crazy delicious fare.